Already Spread to Every Continent: Unusual Fungus Has the Potential To Become a Global Health Problem

COVID-19 Infections Surge

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on global health and has highlighted the importance of being prepared for and able to respond to future global health threats. This new yeast fungus is particularly dangerous as it is resistant to medicine and is difficult to kill.

A New Yeast Fungus

Have you ever heard of the yeast Candida auris? If not, you are most likely not the only one since it hasn’t garnered much attention. Yet. That could change.

Candida auris’s story begins in 2009 when a Japanese woman in her 70s is admitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital. Her ear sometimes discharges something, and the doctors routinely use a cotton swab to collect samples of it. To determine what is causing the infection, they analyze the sample.

It turns out that a yeast, different from other known yeasts, is at play. We’ve all heard of baker’s yeast, a friendly microorganism used to make beer and bread. Candida auris and other Candida yeast species are extremely different; they cause serious and persistent infections that are difficult to treat with known antibiotics.

Break out in a London hospital

Against all expectations, Candida auris turned out to be unusually stress-resistant. The finding is so unusual that the doctors decide to document it in a scientific journal; they name it Candida auris after the location where it was discovered – auris meaning ear in Latin. Since then, the yeast has spread to every continent. Patients are almost always weakened individuals, and incidents are virtually always recorded in hospitals.

For instance, the Royal Brompton Hospital in London had an out-of-control acute Candida auris infection in 2015. The team had tried everything to get rid of the infections for three months, and eventually, they launched a week-long spray attack. They sprayed all surfaces in infected rooms with hydrogen peroxide in hope that the spray will reach all crevices and corners. 

The spray device ran for a week, and to test if any microorganisms have survived, a gel-coated plate was placed in the middle of the room. Any microorganisms that managed to withstand the week-long spray onslaught will be drawn to the gel and therefore reveal their existence. Only one organism appears on the gel plate. Candida auris.

The first case in Denmark

In 2022, a Danish person returned home from South Africa to be admitted to a Danish hospital. The person had several wounds that need to be treated, and the South African doctors had discovered Candida auris on the patient’s skin.

The presence of a fungus on the skin is not in itself dangerous – it becomes so only when it enters the bloodstream – but the Danish hospital took extra safety measures to ensure that Candida auris did not spread to other patients in the hospital: The patient was admitted to two rooms so that there is also room for the equipment needed for examinations. This ensured that the patient did not have to be moved around to other departments.

To get to the two isolated rooms, the staff had to go through two locks. The patient recovered and was discharged, and over a 24-hour period, everything was disinfected in the rooms and in the locks.

Four cases in Denmark, so far

The next patient admitted to one of these two rooms stayed there for only five hours – but that was enough for the patient to become infected with Candida auris in the bloodstream.

“It is difficult to understand how this could happen,” said Maiken Cavling Arendrup, professor and head of the Unit for Mycology, Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, who has followed the cases.

To date, four cases of Candida auris have been registered in Denmark, all from 2022. Three cases are on the skin of people who have returned home from abroad, while the fourth – the patient who was infected after five hours in the hospital room – was infected in the blood. Both the three carriers and the infected patient have recovered.

Need for better treatment

“The problem with this yeast is that it is very difficult to kill. It is multi-resistant, and thus you risk serious infections that cannot be treated,” said Maria Szomek from Daniel Wüstner’s research group, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, adding: “There are many types of medicine on the market that can fight fungal infections – including Candida auris. But they are becoming less and less effective because Candida auris is extremely good at developing resistance, so the challenge now is to develop better medicines that work. This means medicine, which not only inhibits the growth of yeast but actually kills any remaining yeast cells.”

Existing medicines against Candida auris and other yeasts with the potential to kill the cells are often based on so-called polyenes. Polyenes are a group of substances found naturally in certain bacteria as part of their inborn defense system. Polyenes can be extracted from the bacteria for medical use.

Can we improve nature’s own defense system?

But, as Maria Szomek points out; the mechanisms by which the polyenes kill yeast are not very well understood. This, however, is essential for developing new and improved polyene-based drugs.

“Therefore we are working on understanding how nature’s own polyenes work,” Maria Szomek said.

This work takes place in Daniel Wüstner’s research group at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In their laboratory, the group uses advanced microscopy to study what happens to a yeast cell when attacked by polyenes. The group has teamed up with colleagues in theoretical and computational chemistry, Peter Reinholdt and Jacob Kongsted, and is also working with two German research teams at Leipzig University and Humboldt University Berlin.

Precision attack in the cell

The researchers do not work with real Candida auris cells, but instead with harmless models, which they expose to polyenes from the fungicide Natamycin.

“We are interested in things like: how do the polyenes get through the cell membrane? How do they bind to and interact with ergosterol, which is a subgroup of steroids and the target of the polyenes’ attack,” Maria Szomek explained.

Reference: “Natamycin sequesters ergosterol and interferes with substrate transport by the lysine transporter Lyp1 from yeast” by Maria Szomek, Peter Reinholdt, Hanna-Loisa Walther, Holger A. Scheidt, Peter Müller, Sebastian Obermaier, Bert Poolman, Jacob Kongsted and Daniel Wüstner, 29 July 2022, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Biomembranes.
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2022.184012

The study was funded by the Villum Foundation, the Lundbeck Foundation, and the Independent Research Fund Denmark. 

24 Comments on "Already Spread to Every Continent: Unusual Fungus Has the Potential To Become a Global Health Problem"

  1. If aliens want to take over the Earth, they won’t do it with nuclear bombs or asteroids crashing into the planet. Instead, they will engineer an organism that will attack and infect humans, kill off any that manage to survive and then move in.

  2. The rapid increase and Global growth of yeast challenges, can be directly correlated to the high percentage of people with type 2 diabetes. All yeast needs sugar to grow and prosper and propagate. Control the high glucose levels and the yeast will diminish and die.

  3. The problem with developing new auris drugs is that the population demand is currently so low that development is not profitably sustainable. Only 4 patients in Denmark is an example. There is a new auris drug recently approved, brexafemme, but the company is not yet sustainable to due to this lack of demand.

  4. Great article Let’s not wait like they did in China, USA. WE LOTS LOTS OF HUMANS. LOVED ONES, MOMS,DADS , Daughters, brothers sisters, Aunt’s, Uncle’s, in laws & friends, sons. Let’s not wait. Get a vaccine ASAP.

  5. When will medical science leave this ideology that drugs are the only thing that will promote health. Copper (external and internal) has been used for thousands of years.

  6. Fungal pathogens take advantage whenever there’s an upset, an imbalance, a weakened state. We will see an avalanche of fungal issues within the next decade, and that pertains to species beyond humans as well.

  7. Sadly in this world a lot of people have to die before anything is done just look at COVID 19 and China

  8. A few tried to whack everyone with virses randomly, it was f anyone from the government to the mob to the reich to the cops to the military, they tried to kill every wasp nest, I can’t believe people trying to kill everyone with a smoking gun aren’t on crosses in for sale churches, spread the plastic Jimmy we don’t have a showing for a month. How many people are going to be quadrapalegic in five years from clots from vrsuses or the needle? How many cops are already hit? Let a biological agent go in a cop shop and some dudes named Tony and Johnny are going to get to work on you in a warehouse, for a really long time, but do this to them all and nothing…
    I thought after that Munich was going to be a drop in the bucket

    They wanted to eliminate competition and control their infrastructures replacing all with powerless yes men, even everyone in every government

    Try compassion and a 6500 percent more successful agenda by a train full of synthetics, for less money

    How to fix the world easy and make money

    Why make more sick people for money make SpaceX jobs changing diapers isn’t a dream job

    Most people don’t want to be here anyway, even with no food

    The problem is that the world is really smart, those that want to live forever run it and think everyone else wants to live forever too. 45-65 prevent of the planet would say thanks for a synthetic opioid drink and finally get to get out of this existence. The world would only be full of people that actually want to be here, and everyone in the world would have two houses, two cars, two cows, with ice cream on top and oil to last the planet.

    For overpopulation the problem is there’s no good way to go for those who want, 65 prevent of this planet has been waiting all their life to go, they’re forced to be here, and we overpopulate because it means you get 60 percent of someone else’s income in child $upport, kids mean money and multiple partners and children

    Don’t make available a fentanyl euthanasia drink by the 10,000 gallon vat and the 65 percent of the planet that world say thanks won’t get to go yet, but might even replicate after some bad one night stands, and you won’t more than double available resources, or you will keep 1M in insurance and state aid money never paid out, and social security they paid into, to the end you create some cool jobs for people and dispensaries and no more crime, and everyone in the world that remains will be people that actually want to be here without botch job suicide attempts for a worse existence, and everyone in the world would have two houses, two cars, an oil supplies to last the planet, and they could have a cow, with ice cream on top, unless they eat the cow, then they need another one

    Just saying..

    Or get an ass graft on your face when they keep trying and you get black fungus necrotizing your facial tissue, why f up your face, f up someone else’s face, why get a facial? Get a massage

    Drpa publicly leaked their 2016 weapons contract with EC0LIGHTlbs for CVID, Bostonlabs has a cvd ocrmn rebuild which takes out 80 percent of the mice…

    Make euthanasia

    1/3 off the world population starving may reach 2/3. Dump ocean water into dry rivers with ocean fish, have an ocean river, desal at farms, steam distiller at the kitchen sink, disinfected and salt free

    Collect America’s lawn mower clippings for more cattle, new jobs. Instead we export corn and beef and have a storage and import meat from other countries

    They tried to make viruses to eliminate half the world, they are unsuccessful, wait till a mobster has to get an ass graft on his face from some black fungus sprayed, unreal. 65 percent of the world would say thanks for a synthetic opioid euthanasia drink by the 10,000 gallon vat, I could have done agenda 21 better 8 years ago

    If you won’t be compassionate to the majority, nor will the the ruling minority to all. To them it is a matter of choice: Theirs

    Soon your cities will be without water, unless you hire people for US currency which costs the same to print as unemployment without a future and pump desalinated water from the ocean into river systems

    we’re not being drawn to the sun,

    There’s two black holes on the surface, whatever was gravitationally drawn to the core went there, and the overall gravity of the sun increased but it got hotter but we’re moving away and angry solar flares and CMEs are coming after us for leaving

    Heat pushes clouds causing flooding on other parts of this planet while coronal mass ejection and solar flares from magnetic connections from the sun to the earth are increasing. One day maybe it will arc weld this iron ball if we don’t cross elliptical orbit line with the moon. Tell NASA about the moon and a year and a half later they make Moonfall. They should make a euthanasia for everyone who wants to go, or be stuck to endure the future even if you don’t want to be here at all???

    With the moon it’d be a tsunami one way and a volcano the other, the future of our relationship with the sun is a different issue


    65 percent of the planet would take a synthetic opioid drink by the 10,000 gallon vat and say thanks,

    1/3 off the world is starving to death, 5 percent need bones they can’t or don’t want to get replaced, 5 percent need organs they can’t or don’t want to get replaced, 5 percent are terminally ill 5 percent chronic pain, 5-10 percent never wanted to be here anyway, and everyone else will have a peaceful way to go when they want. There’s no good way to go, some are 18 and 0 and going through death and not actually dying is not fun, some attempts are violent to go through. Instead of making a euthanasia available to everyone who wants to go they kill .08 percent of the world population in two years. Everyone was the target. I would have helped the 65 percent go 8 yrs ago.

    They’re getting a dime putting people through suffering instead of a dollar in creating good

    There needs to be a peaceful easy way for everyone when they want to go. Guy saves 1M in state aid, paid 600k in social security, doesn’t have to die every day, just gets to leave before suffering. The guy with the kids gets 800 k from Uncle Sam in life insurance he never signed up for and Uncle Sam keeps the other 800k. Free euthanasia. Cut inflation by more than half, more than doubled available resources. Have a job by a company which pays all the taxes and picks up grass clippings M-S to take it to fields now with cows on it, 4x your US cattle with lawn mower clippings from every years, save 2500 on property taxes and make sure your clippings are out in your neighborhood on Tuesdays

    Pump desalinated water from ocean wave current into river systems ASAP. It costs the same to print unemployment and section 8 as it fits a job with a paycheck that won’t even take your house away

    Here’s your check if you love your neighbors and don’t want to leave your free housing, and here’s your bigger check if you want to rent on the private market

    More confusing paint corporations pay all the taxes making useful cool jobs like a mint company your paper actually goes somewhere and a quarter turns back into a dollar, a king starts a bread company which will never go out of business and pays all the taxes and everyone’s got a good job and lives well

    Dig out 10 ‘ of river bed and cast and set two 10′ pipelines to being Atlantic ocean water to every house, use steam distiller for salt free disinfected water at the kitchen sink, dump waste water into sealed pipelines. It took a turn 2 years to dig out 10’ of riverbed, everyone could be back to work working in every town and we’d be at with new infrastructure. Don’t put salt in your water, have more salt for more roads in the winter.
    Send salt water straight to homes, they’ll use a distiller for their few gallons of driving and cooking water and they’re off toilet to tap loop. Use electrolysis for energy from salt water. At the very least, feed rivers with desal water immediately to quickly overcome drought shortages, no problem

    Make a grass and corn crop that grows in ocean water hybrid with say, oceanic grass root structures, best genetic corn crop growing in salt water in Texas and Arizona while you solar desalinate more oxygen and hydrogen into the air in a 24/7/365 grow season with ocean water and no weeds growing in salt water crops or lawns, fill your swimming pool with ocean water and water your lawn with salt water, don’t put salt in your what salt water put it in the roads, use a small steam distiller made of glass and stainless to get disinfected and salt water free water for cooking and drinking, maybe an ocean let for your pool, were have to deal with ocean water rise, how about a Dolphin?

    Make more indoor fish farms, clean fish into a flash freezer, people eat fish, kid makes 90 k a year running fishing equipment not $9 an hour people eat well

    People could be cremated visible to the public and the smoke can be required in a gallon of water and the ashes and cement combined and people can be made into a concrete cast or flower pot. Otherwise, if they get cremated, without a filter, or dissolved in alkyld they go down a drain?

    And they had that place giving fake ashes and selling bodies

    Maybe you could make a wireless Tesla satellite bridge (like when you touch a Tesla ball and the current comes towards you, though you are in the millivolts) to draw CMEs from the sun to say, Mars, maybe a draw in a vacuum will cause a shift, like when a siphon starts firing, maybe it’s not possible to stop the earth from frying, but either be fun to make a vacuum electromagnet lines glass universe model spinning g on a multi axis, just enough to toss, not create a external centrifugal (reverse) ‘gravity machine’

    Only on this planet are you forced to exist by the people that want you gone and say they want to reduce world’s population by half, I’d say it’s irony but that’s why people want to leave earth and go to Mars, they secretly secretly want to steal the iron , shh don’t tell anyone

  9. It seems as though it’s easier for a new treatment to be approved if there are fewer cases, a drug for a rare condition might get approved with little press notice and therefore less holdups. They ought to get ahead of it before it becomes harder to receive approvals.

  10. I read somewhere that fungi have almost the same DNA as humans.

  11. Good 👍 Article.,But really!We don’t need another pandemic at this time..haven’t yet got over the first one..!!!!get vaccine.

  12. Over 10$k in topical steroids over 2 years, little help. Fluconazole 100mg once a week/3 weeks. Itraconazole 200mg 2x/ day. Repeated in one month. Swollen ankles & puffy eyes. In blood now. One Dermatologist didn’t want to be near me.

  13. Raw garlic has a devastating effect on most molds and fungeses. That along with the pre mentioned Copper and possibly colloidal silver. Really would destroy this pathogen. I used it successfully to kill off Damp Off disease in plants and body fungus when I layed on wet grass in the shade. It cured them all

  14. Jeanine Kay-Shoemake | December 20, 2022 at 9:44 am | Reply

    Why does a “Science” communication about a yeast have an illustrastration of a virus in it?

  15. It is not only 4 patients… There will also be undocumented cases just as there are undocumented individuals and anti-healthcare mentality due to fear, lack of funding, lack of care. Currently, there is still lack of awareness, symptoms, experience, and medicine to fight this variety of candida.

  16. Fortify your immunesystem with great food, supplements, fresh air and exercise. Stay away from sugars and consume only moderately healthy breads.
    Make autophagy work for you! Fasting is a must!! OMAD!

  17. You can’t vaccinate against a fungus. Just not how it works.

  18. The article states antibiotics when talking about a fungus. Was antifungals meant? Bacteria and fungi are completely different organisms

  19. People will die eventually. All people!!! One way or the other. Why are you all denying it. People are so stupid. It’s sad 😭

  20. I’m very familiar with candida and I have been battling it my whole life.I believe it has migrated to my joints.I have necrosis in my hips and wonder if the candida has something to do with it.I can’t have surgery because it is an infection and impossible to eradicate. I use oregano oil,black seed oil and other natural products and herbs.Its horribly painful and I believe my nervous system is affected because I have tremors and think it’s possibly in my spine.The most upsetting aspect is doctors were unwilling to consider that I might know what I was talking about and would have cut me open.

  21. It seems that the author is not familiar with the drugs used to treat yeast infections. Yeast is treated with antifungals. Bacteria are treated with antibiotics. The information about polyenes could be interesting if it was clear that they are antifungals.

  22. Would the drug Nizoral be effective?

  23. You have more chance to die if you get the vaccine than if you don’t.stop pushing the vaccines that kill more people than the covid itself. Let the immune system God gave us do it’s job. I don’t get vaccines and I don’t get sick no vaccine’s, not just covid. Wake up people you’re being dupped.

  24. Had a pug who developed a sever skin condition that after research suggested it could be the yeast discussed in this thread. Even after cleaning bath with bleach after, I would develop terrible athletes foot that was resistant to every single otc cream I tried. This went on for a year. The final straw was trying three different topical medicins together and it was gone in a week. Coincidence not sure have no formal bio training but the drugs were terbinafine hydrochloride, clotrimazole, and tolnaftate together they defeated this super resistant form of yeast and wondering if anyone could recreate this study in the lab to see if there is any validity here.

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